Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Another New Recipe

I tried to put in some fun visual things in our planters this year.  Items that, when someone looks at it, they can see all kinds of things.

Whenever I look for recipes (and most are recipes that I'm really not looking for at all), I try to make sure that they have ingredients that I can substitute with what I already have on hand if I don't have exactly what they are calling for.  For instance, in the recipe I'm going to share with you it calls for linguine.  I usually don't buy linguine but I always have other kinds of pasta on hand.  This recipe calls for bacon and tomatoes and those two ingredients I usually buy so I had those already.  I never buy shallots, but I buy green onions so I substituted the green onions for the shallots (even though they are very different).  I always have eggs and Parmesan cheese, so again, I was okay with those two items.

If you're following this LONG explanation, what I'm trying to get at is that if I find a recipe that sounds good but I don't usually have all the ingredients or I don't want to go out of my way to buy the special ingredients, I find it's usually okay to use what we have.  So, I will post the recipe the way it was originally written and tell you again what I did to tweak it a bit.  By the way - we thought this recipe was very good.  : )


Kosher salt
12 oz. linguine (I just used regular spaghetti)
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes (I only had a cup of tomatoes left and that was just fine)
1 shallot, thinly sliced (again, I just used sliced green onions)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper

*Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook as directed.  RESERVE 1 1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water and set aside.  Drain the pasta and set this aside as well.
*Cook the bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat till crisp.  Add the tomatoes and onions and cook till tomatoes start to burst, about 5 minutes.  Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. of the drippings from the skillet.
*Whisk the eggs, cheese, and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the reserved cooking water; set aside.
*Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low and add the cooked pasta and toss well with the bacon, tomatoes, and onions.  Slowly pour in the egg mixture, tossing to make a creamy sauce, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and add the remaining 1/4 cup cooking water as needed to loosen up the pasta a bit.
*Serve with more Parmesan cheese on top and a little more freshly ground pepper.


Frying the bacon. 

The tomatoes and onions added.

The finished product.  Creamy, bacon-y, yummy.  : )  I served steamed green beans on the side.  Hope you can try it!  

There is no new Wednesday donut this week.  I chose to plant flowers in another planter and then come in to do some crafting.  Besides, at lunch we needed to eat up the last of the homemade blueberry pie.  I didn't think we needed afternoon donuts on top of that!  : )

Well, I think that's all I have for you today.  Thank you again for dropping in - I do enjoy your visit!  God bless.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day Meal

As in my case, the cook is only as good as the recipe.  : )  So, if that is the case, I'm a really good cook!  LOL  : )  For holidays I like making a special meal - something that we normally don't have and I have always wanted to try a shrimp boil.

Well, were we in for a treat.  I don't remember so many oh's and ah's while eating before!  This isn't the typical shrimp boil where you put everything in a huge pot of water and boil till everything is done.  This one is done in the oven.

It was, once again, a hot day and I hesitated using the oven but as long as we have air conditioning it really didn't matter too much - the house cools down rather quickly.  I don't want to quit making oven meals or bake just because it's summer.  Anyway, back to the meal........all of you have probably done a shrimp boil already so it's not new to you, but since it was a first for me and it turned out SO good, I wanted to share it with you.

I prepared this in a 9 x 13 pan but we agreed that WHEN we have this again and would like to share it with others I would definitely take out the roasting pan because all of the ingredients are such that you make it depending upon how many people you are going to serve.  But this is how I prepared it:


*red baby potatoes (how many you think you need - I used 6 for the two of us)
*corn-on-the-cob (again, how many you need - I used two and broke them in half)
*1 lb. shrimp (more for a group, of course - I used frozen uncooked peel n' eat shrimp, ran it under cold water  to thaw it slightly and kept the shells on - it made it a bit more fun to have to peel them at the table)
*1 pkg. of ring sausage (again, more for a group) - cut in thin slices

For the sauce:  (once again, double or triple this depending on the amount used above)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil your pan.
*In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until just tender (about 10-13 minutes).  Stir in the corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking time; drain well.
*In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic and Old Bay seasoning.
*Place the potatoes, corn, shrimp, and sausage in your pan.  Stir the butter mixture, pour this over everything in your pan and toss to combine.
*Bake for 12-15 minutes until shrimp is opaque and corn is tender.  (At this point, I covered the pan with foil and baked it for 10 minutes longer - I don't know why I did this, but it just seemed right)
*Serve immediately!  For a fun and casual meal - just sit the pan right in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.  I put mustard on the table for the sausage, and cocktail sauce on the table for the shrimp.  Provide bowls to put the shrimp shells in while peeling.  I also served this with cold watermelon slices because it is a little spicy.

I REALLY hope you all can try this and tell me what you think.  We couldn't believe how tasty it was.  : )  A keeper and something we will make quite often this summer!!!!

It is a hot, sunny day again today and another chance of thunderstorms.  We've been getting some nice rains, but it's still hot.  The daily chores are done:

*mopped the floors
*cleaned the bathroom
*did the laundry
*paid the bills
*made the menu/grocery list
*made a cornbread pancake mix for the pantry

and now I'm on my way downstairs to make some card-making kits.  We are having another new recipe tonight for supper so if it turns out, that will probably be my post for tomorrow!!!!  : )

Thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate your visits.  God bless.

Pretty iris - I would like to get the purple iris sometime, but I love these too.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


This is the day the Lord has made - let us rejoice and be glad in it!  : )

As I think, I look back on the week and try to find something on Sunday to post that would glorify God.  He is definitely worthy of praise.  He is worthy of our thanksgiving.  

In some respects, this week was rather odd (maybe different would be a better word).  The same kind of work was done, but there were other things to get done as well.  The regular schedule we normally have wasn't normal - you know, just........different.

While prettying things up in the yard with new plantings this past week, I was reminded of what beauty God created for us to enjoy.  He could have made everything black and white but He chose to give us color.  Different tints of color.  Different hues of color.  Different shades of color.  It felt so amazing to work with all these different kinds of plants and flowers and to arrange them in pleasing ways.  I also felt that it was an important thing to do.  I believe that when you live in a neighborhood, you not only keep up your yard and gardens for yourself but for the benefit of those who live around you.  I want to bring joy to them as well.  

For the last couple of years we have been on an emotional roller coaster and in those times I didn't feel like doing much with the outside of our house except for keeping up with the weeds, but this year I could feel the Lord prompting me to get back to it again.  And I'm so grateful for that prompting.  Gardening and pulling weeds and decorating the outdoors is a way of showing God's love for others.  It's a way of making us feel better physically and emotionally.   As Christians, I think it's important to present our homes in an organized and pretty way (not trying to be perfect, but presenting it in the best possible way).  When you hear that God owns everything we have, it's true!  We are working for Him.  We keep up what we have to honor Him whether that's our car, our home, our yard, etc.  That was the first thought this week.

The second thought was about the power and persistence of prayer.  For the past couple of years (while going through a difficult time as noted above), I have been praying for specifics in a specific area and Friday my husband and I saw a breakthrough in one of our prayers.  I can't give you the specifics but prayer was definitely answered.  It was an answer of protection.  He saw a circumstance that could have been costly and He spared us from it.

The thought I had about this was how we all need stick-to-itiveness (sorry if I'm not spelling this correctly) in prayer.  I tend to think that we give God a timeline for certain things and if He doesn't come through in that specific time, we give up.  Don't do that!!!  On Friday, it was proof that God's timing is perfect.  What we experienced isn't going to change things a whole lot, but like I just said above - it was a breakthrough and we saw the hand of God at work in details that we could not have worked out ourselves.  It really was totally awesome and when things like that happens, faith grows.  You just KNOW that He is with you. He wants you to hang in there (even for two years).  He wants you to keep praying without ceasing.  He wants you to bring all your prayers and requests before Him.  He wants you to come boldly before His throne.  And if you're obedient in this, the blessing will come.

Those are the two thoughts I had about the past week.  The first in how we need to remember that we are to take care of the things God blesses us with and the second in how we need to be patient in prayer and how God comes through even when we don't think He will and we're tempted to just give up.  My hope this week is that, coming from a homemaker's point of view, you will begin to look around you and be motivated to make things beautiful not just for yourself but for those around you as well.  At least keep things clean and attractive.  You be the one to present yourself as a good steward of what God has given you - not to show off or make it seem like you're better than everyone else - but to honestly care for what you have.  And then to spend time with the Lord.  He SO wants you to spend time with Him.  He cares for you, He loves you, and He wants to help you.  And don't give up!!!!  : )

May God bless you this holiday weekend.  I won't be posting tomorrow, so I hope you can enjoy your day.  It's going to be very hot so please stay safe if you are also in the heat!!!!  Remember the veterans and find a way to honor them.  They paid the ultimate price for our freedom - let's not take that for granted.  Thank you for visiting - I appreciate it when you do.  

Fort Snelling Cemetery.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Looking Ahead

I love beautiful cloud formations and then to have the sun "paint" them is gorgeous.

I ask it ALL the time.  Where has this month gone?  Now we are looking ahead to June - truly unbelievable.  Here we are at the official kick-off to summer - Memorial Day weekend.  Are you planning anything for the weekend?  Last evening while we were sitting outside we could only imagine what the freeways looked like going out of the cities as everyone was in pursuit of getting out of town.  Somehow, the sitting and thinking about it was better than the actual doing it.  We have no specific plans.  We'll just play it by ear and see what comes up.  It's supposed to be hot again so our time outdoors will be limited (heat and humidity are not my friends).  

For those of us who stay put, I hope we can all remember those who have gone before us by putting a memorial wreath or flowers at a grave site.  Remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country and also remember to thank a veteran this weekend!  Our country may not be the country it once was, but it's our country and it's fought-for land.  I would also encourage you to continue in prayer for our country.  There are SO many issues right now that need to be covered in prayer and God is the ONLY one who can answer those prayers.  He listens to a humble and contrite heart.

I hope, also, that you can enjoy your time with friends and family.  These two groups of people in our lives are not to be taken for granted.  Spend time with them, love them, enjoy them while you have them.  : ) 

I am looking into the June to-do's (we didn't even get all the May to-do's done yet!) :

*weatherstrip the doors/windows so that the air conditioned air doesn't escape to the outdoors
*patch the concrete sidewalks/walkways
*regrade the foundation for the upcoming rains - this is simply done by adding more dirt around the perimeter and allowing it to slope away from the house (especially when you have a basement to be concerned about)
*refinish/paint any furniture
*restock the first aid kits in your car and home - throw out all old medications and renew
*clean the gutters - I don't know about you, but it seems like the only trees we have around us are the "dirty" ones - the ones that give off all those seeds and they end up in the gutters!)
*let the fresh air in - continue (on the nice and dry days) to open up the windows (in the basements too!) and let the air blow through
*check the furnace filter and change it if needed
*check outdoor caulking (in time caulking gets hard and brittle and needs to be replaced - for cracks, etc.)
*keep up with the weeds!  Spend a little time (even if it's 15-20 minutes a day) to go out and pull a patch here and there.
*plan Father's Day - again, like Mother's Day, this can be an emotional time, but if you have a dad or your husband is a dad, make sure that you can plan something for him.  What does he enjoy doing?  What does he like?  What foods are his favorite?  Maybe your son(s) are dads, what can you do for him/them?
*if you're one of the fortunate ones that still have mattresses that can be flipped, then it's time to flip!
*wash all your bedding
*most of all, enjoy this month - it's summer!!!!  : )

To keep up with planting, today we are headed out to buy the next batch of flowers/herbs for the waist-high garden planters.  Both of them are situated by the driveway and you see them as soon as you pull in, so it's looking a little bare now and we, again, need some pretty there.  That is today's goal.

I noticed that the squirrels are digging into the the wagon container full of flowers and I read yesterday that one way to stop that is to put a layer of rocks/stones on top so we will also be buying a bag of that!  They are totally little rascals. 

I think that is it for today's post.  Now to begin the day!!!  : )  I do wish all of you a good day today and I thank you for spending time with me if even for a few minutes.  God bless you in your homemaking efforts!!!! 

Friday, May 25, 2018

An Old-fashioned Day

The little wagon filled with pretty.  : )  

We needed something more in this corner of the yard that looks pretty boring without flowers.

Yesterday afternoon, I baked a rhubarb pie (recipe below) and while preparing it, somehow it made me feel old-fashioned.  Something about rhubarb that goes WAY back into my childhood evokes good memories.  Every year I remember rhubarb pies, sauces, and custards made and shared.  When I was in 4-H in my young days, I even entered a pie baking contest and the pie I made was rhubarb custard!  So rhubarb is in my blood.  : )

This is a new recipe for me but once tasted I new I had a winner.  It's very good.  : )  So, if you like rhubarb, this might be something you would want to try.


1, 9" unbaked pie shell

Pie filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. flour
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups rhubarb, sliced into small-ish pieces

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together the dry ingredients for the filling and then stir in the beaten eggs and add the rhubarb and mix well.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  

For the topping - mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl.  Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes crumbly and then sprinkle that over the rhubarb filling.  

Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.  (I'm not sure if my oven was baking cooler than normal, but it actually took about 1 hour, 15 minutes - you'll have to check occasionally when baking).


The three components to making this pie - shell, filling, and topping.

Before the oven.

Out of the oven.  Buttery, sugary, puffy, crisp, custardy - all in one pie plate. 
Mmmmmmmmmm.............................    : )

We got a LOT of rain last night (thank you Lord!) and although it looked like it could have been very stormy it only amounted to some wind but fortunately the rain (with lightning that is so good for all the plantings).  Today is supposed to be another hot and humid day with another chance of storms this afternoon.

So, since I didn't get any card making done yesterday, I'm going to choose this day in which to do that.  The house is clean, the laundry is done, the errands are finished - I can settle down and create something.  : )

That's it from here.  Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit - I really do appreciate it when you do.  God bless.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pantry Meal

Our first Iris of the season - many more to go!  : )

On the heels of yesterday's thoughts on preparing a pantry, this Ravioli Casserole is one of those meals that we go to occasionally.  In about an hour you can have a very tasty and filling meal on the table which is so good for those days when you really want to put in a longer day or you come home later than you expected.  

I may have posted this in the past, so pardon me if you've already seen it, but I think it's one that's worth a second consideration.  : )  Here is the recipe:

As you can see, it's easy to buy frozen ravioli and always have that stuck away in the freezer and the same goes for the Mozzarella cheese.  And even though I make my own spaghetti sauce, it's wise to have a couple of jars in your pantry as well.  The ONLY ingredient in this dish that you would have to maybe plan ahead for is the Cottage cheese unless you are a person or family that always has Cottage cheese on hand.


You'll need to get a large pot of water (unsalted) to boiling point while you get all the rest of the ingredients together and then cook a 25 oz. package of frozen cheese ravioli according to package directions; drain.  And remember to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I use a medium size casserole dish for this recipe.  In the ungreased casserole dish, layer about 1/2 cup of a 28-oz. jar of spaghetti sauce.

Layer with half of the cooked ravioli.

Add 1 1/4 cup more spaghetti sauce.

On top of this, add 1 cup cottage cheese.

And then 2 cups Mozzarella cheese.

Repeat all those layers again.  Then bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or till nice and melty and bubbly.  Let this stand for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven so it has a chance to set up.  Enjoy!!!!!!!

*There are many choices for the frozen ravioli - but I count this meal as a meatless meal so I usually buy the cheese ravioli or spinach.

*And we all know how many different kinds of jarred spaghetti sauces there are so just choose one that your friends or family will like!

It is a very sultry day and will be the same all the way through Memorial weekend.  That's kind of unusual for around here.  I remember cool and rainy more than anything.  So, we'll have to plan our work accordingly.  While everyone else goes out of town and up to cabins, we always stay put.

We went to the garden center this morning and bought some more plantings.  This time for one of the Radio Flyer wagons (photo soon).  : )  I could spend the whole day in that greenhouse - the colors are gorgeous (and that's an understatement).

This afternoon will find me baking that rhubarb pie and some cookies for tonight's Bible study and hope to get to making some more greeting cards.  So that's it for now - I'm early so I can get to the rest of my day.  : )  Thanks for dropping by!!!  God bless.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday Birthday Cake Baked Donut

I have to admit that out of all the donuts I've tried so far, this is my least favorite.  It's not bad, but I'm going to tweak a couple of things the next time I make them.  I'm going to share the recipe, however, in hopes that you will give it a try and see what you think.

The first problem with this donut was that I think there are too many sprinkles.  First you add sprinkles to the batter but it makes the batter turn a greenish-gray color.  And then you add sprinkles to the top after glazing.  Next time I think I will just add sprinkles to the top and not in the batter.

The second problem was that the recipe says it makes 8 donuts and I did that but I think it could be more like 10.  The batter for 8 donuts fills the donut depressions too much and then the 10 minute baking time is not enough because I think they came out a little underdone.

So, with those two changes, I might just like them a bit better.  But here is the promised recipe:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (this is what I'm going to eliminate next time to see what happens)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the donut pan.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  

In a larger bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together until smooth.  Add the melted butter along with the vanilla and almond extracts, whisking until completely combined.  Add the flour mixture to the wet and stir till just combined - do not overmix.  Fold in the sprinkles (if using).

Transfer batter to donut pan wells.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack placed over a large baking sheet to catch the dripping glaze.

Glaze:  Combine 1/4 cup milk, 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. almond extract together.  Dip the top of each donut into glaze and return to rack.  Let set for a moment and the dip again.  Sprinkle with more sprinkles on top while the glaze is still wet.

There you have it!!  

Today was shopping day for the ingredients to make the meals from yesterday's menus.  I've been thinking about pantry shopping lately and how it seems unreal that just a few years ago, I didn't have a very well-stocked pantry.  I would just get a few things that related to what I was cooking and set them aside for when I needed them.  But building a pantry is, I believe, an absolute must.  To begin is kind of daunting because we really don't know where to start.  But a good place to start is to look around at what you use most often - if not on a daily basis, how about weekly?  

For example, I mostly cook from scratch so there are ingredients that are pretty common to most recipes - some kind of oil, salt, flour, tomato products, onions, garlic, etc.  So I first make sure that I have those available.  The next step is to actually build the pantry and what I mean by that is once you have the basics on your shelves to use in your cooking, whenever you take that item off the shelf and open it (say olive oil, for example) have a place to write down somewhere that you will need to buy another bottle of olive oil on your next shopping trip.  It's not good enough to take the last bottle off the shelf, open it, and see that it might be a while until you use it up, you need to begin to fill in that place on the shelf that now doesn't have that bottle of olive oil.  And better yet, if you can buy a couple of bottles with a little extra money then you won't have to worry about it for a while.  The same goes for canned goods.  I tend to use a lot of canned tomato products - pastes, sauces, diced, etc. - for that, I like to buy a case of those items and then it's quite a while before I even have to think about buying them again.

And this is how you would be handling each product in your pantry.  Every time you take the last bottle or can off the shelf, fill in that space with the same product.  Then it will always be available for you and no more last-minute runs to the market.  I think the exception to this is paper products (especially toilet paper).  Buying these items on a regular basis and really stocking up is smart.  With these products you don't want to wait until you reach for the last roll before you buy more!!!!!!

A pantry is your insurance.  It's for those times when you just don't have the money to buy a lot of food but still need to get the meals on the table.  It's for those times when you don't feel well and there isn't anyone to go to the store for you.  It's for those times when a storm hits and you're out of power (and so is the store) and you still need to eat.  And for any number of scenarios.

Again, just do your homework.  Think about what you cook/bake with on a regular basis and begin to stock and build a pantry so that you don't even have to think about whether or not you're ready for whatever comes.  : )

Lastly, something pretty to share:

I took this photo early this morning of our Azalea.  The scent perfumes the air from morning to evening.  Gorgeous!

And this beautiful teacup one of my sisters bought for me at a garage sale.  Can you believe she only paid $1.00 for it?!  It's so pretty and I had tea from it this afternoon while writing some notecards.  : )

Well, I believe that is it for this day.  It's been a busy and good day today.  So grateful to be a homemaker.  Thanks for stopping by!!!!  God bless.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Back To Writing Menus

Some pretty.  : )

We are back from our trip to South Dakota.  Our family laid to rest my nephew this weekend who lost his battle with brain cancer in April.  His funeral took place during the historic April snowstorm we had, so the burial was postponed until now.  It was a bittersweet day for all of us.  He died one week before his 55th birthday.  That's why I want to make sure that anyone who is reading this will give their life to Jesus because we aren't guaranteed tomorrow (at any age).  And wouldn't you all want the reassurance of WHERE you will be going WHEN you die.  Your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior will give you that reassurance.  Just repent of your sins, ask Him into your heart and He will come and take over.  And death will have no hold on you - absent from the body, but present with the Lord.

As I write this, the whole side of my mouth is numb.  I just got back from having a cavity filled at the dentist.  Going to the dentist is one of the worst things for me.  Some people don't mind it at all - not me.  I mind it a LOT!!!  Everything - the smell when you first walk in, the waiting till it's your turn, the numbing, the keeping your mouth open for what feels like forever.................  I know, I know, I should be thankful that we receive such good dentistry, and I am (but I still don't like it).  LOL

Since we came back yesterday, I've been spending the day trying to get a few things done - paying the bills and laundry from the weekend mostly, but also two weeks worth of menu ideas and then the grocery list that goes along with it.  So, I thought I'd share it with you.  : )

Tonight - ravioli casserole, salad
Wed. - baked salmon, rice pilaf, steamed brocolli
Thurs. - pancakes, bacon, fresh orange slices
Fri. - baked fish fillets, quinoa, mixed vegetables
Sat. - take out night
Sunday - slow cooker Swiss chicken, potatoes, roasted carrots
Mon. - shrimp boil foil packets on the grill, green salad, melon slices
Tues. - taco salad, melon slices
Wed. - tuna stroganoff over noodles, salad
Thurs. - pizza ring, salad (while in our hotel room on the food network I saw the Pioneer Woman making this so I want to give it a try)
Fri. - grilled salmon, quinoa, steamed brocolli
Sat. - take out night
Sunday - slow cooker whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots
Mon. - chicken soup (from leftover bones), bread machine bread, fruit
Tues. - spanish rice w/sliced green onions and sour cream on top, chips & salsa

I need to make breakfast granola for the week, taco sauce, banana cake for the freezer, and a rhubarb pie from our patch of rhubarb.  Everyone was talking rhubarb when we were together, so when I got home I made sure that I went and picked what was ready.  LOVE rhubarb cream pie.  I'm also hoping to get a couple of Wednesday donuts done tomorrow and next week.  I found two recipes that sounded great.  We'll see how it goes!

The outdoors continues to get there but there is a lot to do yet.  After sitting in the car for so long yesterday, my husband and I both were in the mood to just work in the yard for a while to get our stiff hips and legs going again.  It's so lovely and green and everything just popped in the short time we were gone.  We were very surprised at how much everything grew.

I have to admit that the drive out and back was soothing to the soul.  Getting out in the wide open spaces just does something for me.  The pretty farms, seeing the farmers out in the field, going through small towns - it's something that I need to do once in a while.  

And I think that's about it for this post.  : )  Thank you for dropping by for a visit today.  I appreciate it very much.  God bless.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Little Bloggy Break

A Mother's Day gift from my husband.  Love the colors!

I'm doing a little break from blogging until next week.  More time to try and come with something you'd be interested in hearing about!  : )  

There was no new donut for Wednesday this week because I made these instead:

We had some apples that needed to be used up so I made my BEST pie crust, cut the apples up and added a little sugar and cinnamon, baked them for about 45 minutes and there you have it.  Mmmmm.............  : )

I was out in the yard yesterday morning looking at everything coming up and had to take a photo of the apple blossoms which are perfuming the air:

And one of our ferns along the fence which are going crazy this year and spreading all over the place:

I like how this photo turned out - one frond against a dark background and the rest catching the morning light.  Again, God created a LOT of beauty for us to enjoy!!!  : )

We went to the garden center to buy plants for a couple of containers.  One is for the front yard and another in the corner of our fence.  Here is how they turned out:

As you can see, the space surrounding this container needs a lot of cleaning up and I'll have to get to that next week, but it's fun to finally have some color.

This is in a sunny corner.  Again, it really needed color.  Now we're looking forward to it all filling in and bloom all summer long.  : )

We have many more plans - 2 old Radio Flyer wagons to fill, a window box, a hanging basket by the bird feeders, and 2 large waist-high planters yet.  Part of the fun is in the planning so I'm perusing my new magazines to get some ideas.

Well, I have to admit that this is all I have for this post.  It's been a week of getting things done and a day of not feeling well so a little catching up to do is in order.  God willing, I'll be back next week.  : )

Thank you for dropping by.  God bless!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Getting Outdoors

Here is what we ended up with for our Mother's Day project.  : )

The weather couldn't have been more perfect yesterday around here.  Although we did eat inside, we quickly took our project outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  I was concerned about the allergies, but it wasn't until evening (after everyone was gone) when I felt the effects so the get-together wasn't ruined.  : )  I SO like the way our little container gardens turned out.  

It was a good day today too.  The nice thing about get-together's on a Sunday is that the weekend was spent in cooking and cleaning to get ready for it, so Monday feels kind of like a day off.  The house is still clean and we had plenty of leftovers just to be reheated for lunch.  Because of this, I got the laundry washed and hung up very early this morning and wrote out some cards to be sent out today so that I could get outside and begin working.  Like I said before, I've been concerned about the allergies so wasn't sure it would be a good idea to go out but I just couldn't stand it any longer and braved the elements.  ; )  

Outdoor work is SO therapeutic.  I was out early and it was already warm and slightly humid but to pull weeds and get areas looking nice and neat was just what I needed.  I was working on the side yard where the apple tree is in full blossom - well, I felt like I was working in a perfumery.  My goodness what a treat.  It was fun to work around all the plants that have popped up and make note of what we need to fill in with here and there.  One small planter is planted with oregano, lemon balm, mint, basil and chives.  

As one of my gifts yesterday, our son and his wife provided me with 3 gardening magazines that I've been pouring over and dreaming.  One is all about container gardening and that has always interested me and something I want to try more of this year.   It gives all the necessary information - what looks good with what, where to put them (sun/shade), etc.  Looking forward to trying some of the plans they show.

Well, that's about it.  Nothing too spectacular.  Now into the kitchen to get our supper going.  Fortunately it's using things up in the fridge so it won't take a lot of prep work.  Yea!  : )

Thank you for dropping by and visiting a while.  I love it when you do.  God bless.  

Sunday, May 13, 2018


A rose for all you moms out there!!!!  

Thank you moms for ALL you do!!!!  If you ever question the importance of your role in this life, don't!  You are SO very important.  Whatever you have planned for this day, I pray that you will feel love and encouragement and gratitude.  And if you don't (because sometimes family members can be less than encouraging, loving, and grateful), just know that God values you and the position you hold.  Carry that with you this day.  : )

God bless you and your family.  

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Morning

Just pulling out old vacation photos.  Isn't the green gorgeous?!

When I look at the above photo, I'm thinking that we don't really look at things anymore.  How many of us actually take the time to look at a leaf?  If we did, we'd find intricacies that would amaze us on a daily basis.  Look at the shape of the leaf, the size, the color, the differences between the leaves and then take a photo of them, or if you're artistic, grab colored pencils, crayons, or paints and re-create them on paper.  Think about how God created it all for His own enjoyment and so that we could enjoy them as well.  Think about all the birds this time of year and how different they are from one another.  And all the flowers popping up from the ground.  And all the trees - coniferous, flowering, shade.  It totally is amazing and so I'm hoping that we can all take our time today and actually see what a Creator we have and then to be thankful that He gave us this spring-time beauty.  : )

Well, just thinking about the list that's in my head and not yet on paper, I know this day will be busy:

*marinate the chicken wings for tomorrow's meal
*make the pasta salad to go ALONG with the chicken wings for tomorrow's meal
*get the potatoes ready to be baked to go ALONG with the chicken wings and the pasta salad for tomorrow's meal ; )
*decorate the layer cake to be served AFTER tomorrow's meal
*get the ingredients together for the no-churn ice cream to go WITH the layer cake AFTER tomorrow's meal - again, ; )
*light house cleaning

Yesterday we found four clear glass containers at the thrift store for the project we'll work on AFTER tomorrow's meal and BEFORE we have the cake and ice cream.  The glass containers are for terrariums.  Today we will need to go and buy a bag of soil and the little plants and accessories to go into each.  It will be fun to see what we can all come up with and hopefully I'll remember to take photos.  : )

After taking Mother's Day flowers down to my husband's mother's grave, we were listening to the radio and a woman was talking about how difficult this weekend can be for a lot of women.  And I have found that to be true.  After 2 miscarriages, I am reminded of that every year and how I long for them to be here.  I'm so grateful for our one son but I wanted him to have siblings and I wanted a larger family and I think of how full our table could be tomorrow but won't.  So, there is that unfulfilled dream that makes me sad.  Some women are barren and never will experience the birth of a child.  Some women have experienced loss far greater than I.  Some women are single and long to be married with children and watch as other women are honored for that role.  And then some of us no longer have a mom anymore and we miss them.

So, as I try to make tomorrow as best as I can, my heart goes out to those who experience sadness rather than joy.  Because I truly understand it.  Let us all pray for each other in this - for strength, for grace, for understanding, for compassion, for empathy and encouragement.  

God bless you today and throughout the weekend.  Thank you for your visit!!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Finally, THE Best Pie Crust

Beautiful wildflower in the woods.

I'm sure that most of you by now know how to make a really good pie crust.   One goal of mine was to try and find a pie crust recipe.  A good one.  I have tried everything - using Crisco, using lard, using part lard and part butter, pat-in-the-pan crust, hot water name it, I tried it.  None of them were very good - in my opinion.

On Tuesday evening I wanted to make a pie crust for Wednesday's turkey pot pie and I found THIS recipe so decided to give it a try and after I tasted it on Wednesday, I knew this was what I was looking for.  It was flaky, it was buttery and flavorful.  So, I FINALLY found my (yes, I'm going to claim it) pie crust recipe.  : )  Again, since I didn't think it was going to be anything worth taking pictures of I don't have any but I know that all of you know what a pie crust looks like so I'll just post the recipe.  Hope you like it too!!!!  


2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. buttermilk powder (optional, but I did put it in - maybe that made the difference?)
16 Tbsp. (1 cup) unsalted butter*
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
*If you use salted butter, reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp.

I used the food processor for the whole process.
*First whisk together flour, salt, and buttermilk powder (if using it).
*Dice the butter into small cubes.  Work it into the flour until well-distributed but not fully incorporated.  You want chunks of butter throughout.  Then, toss in the ice water one Tbsp. at a time until the dough starts to come together.  Check now and then with your fingers.  If it holds together easily, without crumbling, it's ready.  If it still has dry spots or it falls apart easily, add a little more water - you don't want it wet though!  
*Gather the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Gently pat into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling - but I did mine overnight.  If you do the same, take the dough out of the fridge at least 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time so it's easier to roll.
*Use as directed for your favorite pie!!!

This makes 2 crusts.  I need to do this again and put them into the freezer for upcoming pies.  It really is very good.

It's been another good day:

*ribs in the slow cooker for supper
*a couple loads of laundry washed and hung
*ironing is done for the weekend
*yearly dr. appointment done
*some light housecleaning done for the weekend
*for Mother's Day on Sunday, our "project" is to work on terrariums so we went to the thrift store to buy the clear glass containers to make them in and we'll have to go out soon to buy the plantings and the cute little things to go with
*now this!  And this is all I have.  : )

Have a wonderful rest of your day and I thank you for dropping by for a visit.  I wish I could invite all of you into the house and have a cup of tea and talk about everything we're all doing to make our houses into homes.  God bless you and your efforts!!!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday's Donut Choice

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts.  Scrummy.  : )

Another Wednesday.  Another donut.  Mmmmmmmm's......................were given to these lovely morsels today.  And I hope you agree.  Here is the recipe:


3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease the donut pan.  In mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla and stir till just combined.  Spoon batter into donut wells in pan evenly.  (This recipe says it makes 6 donuts, but I should have made it into 8 - the wells were a little fuller than they should have been).  Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.  Let cool for a couple of minutes and then remove to cooling rack.  While still warm, brush with 3 Tbsp. melted butter (top and bottom) and then dip into a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon (mixed together) till well coated.

Really - very good!  : )

We are finally getting a little rain that we desperately need.  It's kind of nice and cozy to have it cloudy and rainy.  It is totally beautiful out and about.  The fruit trees are getting flowers, the lawns are green and the many other trees are budding in different hues of green (I love the lime green contrast against the dark bark of the trees - pure beauty).  Tulips are up.  Just so pleasant from such a long winter. 

I hope this finds you enjoying the day and your home.  Thank you for stopping by!  God bless.